Elizabeth Hinton is Assistant Professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty and racial inequality in the 20th century United States. Her current scholarship considers the transformation of domestic social programs and urban policing after the Civil Rights Movement.
In her award-winning recent book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press, 2016), Hinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that laid the groundwork for the mass incarceration of American citizens. In revealing the links between the rise of the American carceral state and earlier anti-poverty programs, Hinton presents Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of a shift towards surveillance and confinement that began during the Johnson administration. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime was named one of the New York Times’s 100 notable books of 2016.
Before joining the Harvard faculty, Hinton spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. A Ford Foundation Fellow, Hinton completed her Ph.D. in United States History from Columbia University in 2013.
Hinton's articles and op-eds can be found in the pages of the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Time. In addition to numerous radio commentaries and public lectures, Hinton has appeared on The Tavis Smiley Show, C-SPAN Book TV, and C-SPAN’s After Words. She also co-edited The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) with the late historian Manning Marable.